Sometimes we bequeath names, sometimes we know a story without names, or the actors in our stories don’t know one another’s names.

Geraldine Green’s poem of the absence of shape and its perception, needs wide spaces between its words to show the breadth of a place without structure. Seth Crook, in a more traditional style of poem, imagines the early namers of landscape, then claims his right to provide his own names.

If you’ve ever puzzled over a till receipt, you’ll like Christopher Barnes’ zany interpretation of a couple of these, translating their gobbledygook in his imagination, naming or claiming whatever he will.

After that. you’ll be ready a for a sonnet, unusually divided into two seven-line parts. Compared to the other three poems here, this seems accepting of a linguistic status quo. But wait! Emma Lee’s lovers quarrel, and for all the poem’s exact place and time, the only names left at the end are a city, a battle and a pressed forget-me-not.

Our thanks to these fine poets come with a plea to other poets to keep on sending your poems. A rare chance to place your older poems in the public view and have them read and available again. In case you can’t see the instructions on the site, please send poems to which you hold the copyright, to sallyevans 35 at gmail dot com, giving place and date of previous publication. Avanti!

naming of the hills
Seth Crook

Naming of the Hills

The first of the landscape spoke
and named the hills, the fairy mounds,
the hollows of the heroes.
Bruach Mhor, Cwm LLewelyn

Then taller people came
and painted on new beasts and visions,
sacred titles in the outlines of the rocks.
Place of Angels, Beacon Hill

So you and I are free to name
just as we will, summon our own spirits.
They’ll smile or mock above us
under any name we give.

And we have more right than any,
living here, near or by their side.
I name it for you – that ground, up high.
That pinnacle – claim it for me, from many.

First published Open Mouse, 2013

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Geraldine Green
In all that wide ocean

In all that wide ocean    arms were outstretched            to embrace
the stones we read        were polished black        oblong shapes

were on them

we wanted to read       the shapes       &  tried so hard
but couldn’t                    

once        when stones had no shape                and we had no shape
we could read                    them the oblong polished black

stones     and we tried    so very hard

golden fish        large as dolphins swam    in the sea    that had no shape
when we had no shape        and the stones oblonged

a golden fish swam    rescued by a pelican         raised
by a pelican’s beak    dropped into the wide     wide    ocean

two golden fish swam    together         wove strange oblong shapes
into songs                 and we cried      together.

II
In the cathedral, the cathedral I visited last night in my drea
in the cathedral it was dark.

I remember only the grounds that wandered with me in my dream.

Did i dream the grounds?
Did i dream the cathedral?

But the golden fish were real
and the stones        with the oblong shapes            polished black
the edge of the wide ocean

and I write this down because once we were the stones
and once we can be the cathedral
and once we are the two golden fish
rescued in a pelican’s beak

we will know what the shapes mean.

 
First published in The Skin, Flarestack Publishing 2003

 

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Christopher Barnes
Cigarette Dealer’s Daughter

Frowners Department Store
Milton Keynes  2056  6251166
                                                     £
Winnie The Pooh Canvas Despatch Bag
                                                   14.99
——————————————————–
To Pay                                        14.99
Cash                                           15.00
Change Due                                 0.01
——————————————————–
14/04/14  9.43  6535  616  1514  2229

Birthday come-alongs were hand-supplied.
As was roll-your-own freight.

A purse-proud cake is her commission.
The conjuror hawks, rattling.

“Be Seeing You”                                                                     

Frowners Department Store
Milton Keynes  2056  6251166
                                                    £
Vivitar F3141MP Compact Camera
                                                  49.99
———————————–———————
To Pay                                       49.99
Cash                                          50.00
Change Due                                0.01
——————————————————–
04/05/14  15.40  1295  294  2867  6442

Strayman’s Mess’ porthole
Exposes your Romeo in a sudden blow.
Twilight-dispelling eyes, vaporous light.
The knife-and-fork rose is faultless.

 First published Cricket Online Review

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Emma Lee
It’s a Girl’s Fault

Cairo, 1942 in the safety of boredom.
She’s a slip of a thing in a flimsy tea dress
and walks with a slight wobble
as she lacks a woman’s weight
to anchor her heels.
Her too-red lipstick got smeared
on his best friend’s mouth.

He blamed her, stole an army truck
and headed for the front at El Alamein.
In the pocket of a soldier’s uniform
he found a pressed forget-me- not,
a photo of a girl about to blossom
into Kirche, Küche and Kinder
who now won’t carry his name.

 Originally published in The Journal

 

 

 

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